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Need ideas for new in town

Original post made by New in Town, Foothill High School, on Sep 26, 2011

We are new in town and are desparately unhappy. We moved here last spring and have not found the community to be very welcoming. People are nice enough and say hello but don't really reach out to new people. Everyone has their social groups and don't really need new friends. Our neighbors don't seem to be a social group either. One of our neighbors told me they are 'too busy' for new people.

Any suggestions on groups to get connected? Kids are teenagers (so I don't need a play group). The sports parents seem set in their groups too . I work during the day so I can't get involved at school since the PTO type groups meet during school hours.

Are there any groups for newcomers? Thanks!

Comments (43)

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Posted by oldInTown
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 26, 2011 at 1:12 pm

I have stayed in Pleasanton since more than 10 years now and raised our kids here.

You should watch the movie Stepford Wives if you haven't already done so! *hint hint* ;-)

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Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Sep 26, 2011 at 2:00 pm

You might want to check out the Pleasanton Newcomers Club. Website: Web Link

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Posted by Karen P
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Sep 26, 2011 at 3:39 pm

Try the website There are a ton of social clubs near this area (couples, women's, hiking, dinner, etc...)

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Posted by Christine
a resident of Del Prado
on Sep 26, 2011 at 5:03 pm

I agree with you, I have lived in this town for six years,I dont find people that friendly in this town. My experience is with mostly elementary school parents. It did take me some time to meet some friendly, fun, adults that were easy to talk experience has been most people here don't go out of their way to make new people welcomed. my advice is don't give up their are some friendly people you just have to find them.My thought is i've always gone out of my way to make new people comfortable. So if people don't do the same I realize they are not the kind of people I want to spend time with. lifes to short for that. good luck

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Posted by Mike
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Sep 26, 2011 at 5:39 pm

Fire up the grill and break out your best BBQ sauce. You'll have the entire neighborhood in your back yard in no time at all. It's kind of the reverse of "smoking them out".


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Posted by Lisa
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2011 at 5:40 pm

My interests take me into San Francisco and that's where I've made all my friends. I'm not the Bunco playing type. I'm not into my nails or perfecting my home or yard. I love Pleasanton, I don't find the people snobby at all. However, it's true, neighbors don't reach out to new people. I spend a lot on gas, but my close friends are in SF.

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Posted by Main Street Jay Walker
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2011 at 10:30 pm

I've been in Pleasanton 15 years. My neighbors pooh-pooh each other, it's a cold and distant town, kids are the center of everything especially driving them everywhere, and that's about it. I'm the outgoing type, but I've just gotten use to it.

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Posted by Long time resident
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Sep 26, 2011 at 11:04 pm

If you don't have kids or don't care to have your nails done weekly this town does not have much to offer socially. The best thing about my neighborhood is that people leave eachother alone. That means no loud parties, no excessive cars on the street, no leaf blowers at 8 AM on weekends.
I have a few close friends here and that suits me fine. The welcome wagon ladies pounding on my door (or anyone else for that matter) are not wanted. So the lack of social connections suits me just fine. Maybe this town just does not have the touchy/feely vibes that you are looking for. Thankfully.

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Posted by Friendly Neighbor
a resident of Del Prado
on Sep 27, 2011 at 7:23 am

Dear New in Town,

We have lived in 2 neighborhoods in Ptown since we moved in back in 1998. Our first day here we were greeted by our neighbors with cookies and helpful hands. When we moved to where we are now, our neighbors immediately introduced themselves and we had our first court BBQ a few weeks later right in front of my house. Yes I agree there are many people that are not nice but there are many that are. When we moved we checked out the neighbors in regards to anything common between our families. I hope you eventually find nice people to hang out with. All I hear lately are people complaining about others, but no one really says good about others latley.

Best of luck!!!!!!!!!

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Posted by Elise
a resident of Livermore
on Sep 27, 2011 at 8:09 am

What about attending a local church? That is an easy way to meet like-minded people. Most churches have many groups you can get involved in, too. We attend Cornerstone and participate in a Small Group there. We have made many close friends and have a large church family as well.

I think it's kind of like when you're a kid...not everyone you meet is a friend. You just have to keep looking.

Best wishes!

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Posted by Foothill Parent
a resident of Val Vista
on Sep 27, 2011 at 8:20 am

Have you tried the Foothill Athletic Boosters? They have a great group of parents involved this year and are all about working with the other groups at the school. They meet in the evenings as do the other parent groups at Foothill. Check out the Foothill website for more info. Welcome to the neighborhood and to the Foothill High community!

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Posted by Laura
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 27, 2011 at 8:26 am

I feel for you. I also work full-time and can't volunteer (much) at school and local functions. There are lots of professional networks that can LEAD to personal hobbies/relationships. Have you checked out TriValley GNON? Do you attend the downtown events, such as the farmers market, 1st Wednesdays (during the summer), and wine strolls?

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Posted by Apples
a resident of Country Fair
on Sep 27, 2011 at 8:30 am

Hello fellow residents. I've lived here 16 years, in the bay area 26 years. I've found it a little bit of what everyone as said, from friendly to stand-off-ish. However, here are my suggestions. Keep saying hello to people, try the Pleasanton Newcomers, if you quilt or are interested Amador Valley quilters meet at PMS the 2nd Saturday of the month at 1:30. They're a very friendly bunch! Also, if you're home on Friday mornings, the senior center offers a terrific knitting group..not for seniors only. The ages range from 30's to 80's. Lots to be learned and good friends made. Get in volved in the schools as much as you can, invite your neighbors over, and get out to the community events. It took me a while to get to know people. We live near the Tennis Park, which, in my opinion is the friendliest end of town..lots of walkers, dogs, kids, and grown-ups. Tully's 'courtyard' area is a great place to meet and hang out too.
And lastly, I agree with trying a church or Synogogue. There are plenty of choices right here in town.
Good Luck..

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Posted by new too
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 27, 2011 at 8:43 am

Hello There,

We are new too. And my husband and I both work during the day. In the past, we found it wasn't the neighbors that we associated with. There were only a few kids on our block and they were older or younger then ours, and while most everyone waved and said hello there was nothing to bond us together.

What we found is it was the people we met through volunteer groups. Everyone is so busy in today's day and age that if there is not a reason to get together then people don't. However, with a volunteer group you have to get together for meetings. Then in those meetings you meet people that you have common interests. And you have to break off into smaller committees so you talk with people at those times.

But you have to reach out too. Have the meeting at your house.

Pleasanton is very generous and has lots of groups. And there is the library and book clubs and the Arts and Friends of...I think you need to reach out instead of waiting for them to come to your door.

But Welcome. The world is just outside your door.

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Posted by David
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Sep 27, 2011 at 8:44 am

I am sorry you feel this way.
I have been here for 12 years and have made many friends. I am not sre what neighborhood you live in, but I would suggest perhaps plugging in to a church. Cornerstone Fellowship in Livermore has people from all over the Tri-Valley and really pushes small groups, where you get to meet people in your own town.

If you have kids, I would get them involved in sports. I have made many friends through my kids sports.

It is more a symptom of business and electric garage door openers, than anything else. People go to work early and get home late, then pull into their garage and shut it behind them. We need more porches, and more neighbors willing to sit on them.

The world usually reacts to us based on our actions towards them. If you have not invited anyone over for a glass of wine, or a BBQ, then do it. Sometimes you need to get out of your comfort zone to make friends. Don't wait on them to act; you act.


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Posted by The Earl of Budly
a resident of Willow West
on Sep 27, 2011 at 8:45 am

There are a host of activities in Pleasanton. Valley Community Church, on Del Valle Parkway behind Amador Valley High School, has youth groups on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, and worship services on Saturday evening and Sunday morning. There is no shortage of athletic activities in town. There are soccer teams, little league, football league, swimming, gymnastics and dance to mention a few. If your kids are interested in music the schools have excellent music teachers. Check with your school office to get connected.

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Posted by Caltrader
a resident of Danbury Park
on Sep 27, 2011 at 8:51 am

I would just reaffirm what Elise and David have said. Cornerstone is the place to start and they are open to all faiths.

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Posted by Kate
a resident of Carriage Gardens
on Sep 27, 2011 at 9:02 am

I agree with what some of the others have noted. As a working women GNON (Girls Night Out Networking) is a great place to meet other local business women in a fun, casual environment. You can find more information on this group at

If you have any spiritual connection there are plenty of churches, a temple and other religious groups that you can get join.

There is something for everyone, sometimes you just have to keep trying new things until you find one that fits.

The local library also has a section on the wall to the left as you enter that lists local activities and if you stop at the Reference desk they can always point out different things too.

Good luck!

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Posted by Friend Maker
a resident of Mohr Park
on Sep 27, 2011 at 9:09 am

Invite your neighbors in your general area (about 5-6 families) over for a pot luck - nothing fancy, just a "bring your own" kind of thing. I think you'll find that people don't necessarily want to make the first move and don't want to be the one to host so they will be thankful that you are reaching out.

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Posted by another
a resident of another community
on Sep 27, 2011 at 9:26 am

The beauty of Pleasanton is its diversity and yet again this can mean making new friends takes a little longer. We have been here 7 years and have moved many times. Obviously making friends through your kids and school is always great, but we have found playing a sport - tennis for us, has really opened up the community. Sometimes you need to go and knock on the door of a neighbor whom you think you might want to know. Those who have not moved alot do not understand the need for new friends, but can often be persuaded once approached. Give it time and get out there locally, Its hard work to start with but will pay off in the end.

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Posted by Always the Host
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 27, 2011 at 9:27 am

I too find most people don't like to be the one to reach out and invite others or are hesitant to host a gathering. I love to! One of my favorite gatherings this time of year is to host a "Pumpkin Carving Party". Since we no longer have children at home I invite friends and neighbors to come over for an adult Pumpkin Carving Party. Everyone brings their own pumpkin to carve and we have a great time.

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Posted by Marie
a resident of Birdland
on Sep 27, 2011 at 9:33 am

It is hard to make friends when you move to a new city and your children are not small. I have to agree with the folks who suggested inviting a few neighbors over for a glass of wine and some appetizers.
I joined newcomers when we first moved to P-town 25 years ago but it was not a good fit for me. I found most of my friends at Church, so we found a Church that was small that as new comers we would be noticed, we attend Lynnewood United Methodist on Black Ave across from the swim center.
Good luck!

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Posted by Jon
a resident of Val Vista
on Sep 27, 2011 at 9:44 am


I am very sorry that this has been your experience since moving here. I have been here for a long time and also have high school kids at Foothill. We can always use more friends. Maybe we can grab our spouses and meet up downtown for dinner and talk about what you can do in Pleasanton and ways to get involved. If interested let me know and we can find a way to communicate off-line!

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Posted by Don
a resident of Ironwood
on Sep 27, 2011 at 9:55 am

Having been part of Pleasanton, on and off since 1972, I have seen a lot of changes within our city. I would say a lot might have to do with the ethnic makeup we have experienced in recent years. Not that this is bad, I find it good. However it does bring with it some language barriers and social differences. Many of these people stick to themselves and their children do not participate in after school projects. In many family's it is the children who usually make friends first. Many good ideas have been put forth and I hope you will soon find happiness here.

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Posted by Teri
a resident of Stoneridge Park
on Sep 27, 2011 at 9:57 am

I moved to Pleasanton two years ago and experienced the same.
At the recommendation of a co-worker looked into and have since joined a few groups, through which I have met some wonderful new friends. I recommend it highly.

Also after reading some of the posts here I've gotten some other ideas on how to widen my circle of neighborhood friends.


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Posted by Lisa Xenakis
a resident of Birdland
on Sep 27, 2011 at 10:54 am

You sound like a mid-westerner! ;)
I can use some new friends! What do you like to do? My husband and I attend both Valley Community Church (not a real friendly church to new-comers) AND Valley Bible Church, which is VERY friendly and down to earth. At VBC there are all sorts of activities for people to join in on even if they are NOT church goers, and no, you will not be evangelized to death! ;) We go on the wine strolls together, the Friday nights in the park, volleyball at Harvest Park School on Sunday evenings, co-ed softball at the sports park on Tuesday evenings. There are tennis groups and golf groups, there is a cooking group and reading groups.... VBC has a thriving young peoples group that is very popular with the Foothill kids that your teens might want to check out. Outside of church, we are ballroom dancers and are avid sailors. Many of our good friends are from those worlds too. I have used my real name call me. six zero zero, nine four four four. I am in the book under my husbands name William or Bill.

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Posted by Elle
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 27, 2011 at 11:08 am

I hardly noticed this when I moved here two years ago; everywhere I have ever lived is like this! It's hard to make friends after college. I started a meetup group and have done all the things everyone has mentioned. I only have one friend I keep in touch with from that. Not many ever did show up regularly. Too busy I guess...I do have a few friends nearby from high school to attend the many many many events in Pleasanton with me, but have yet to meet anyone in my neighborhood that has become more than an acquaintance. Lots of people at church, but even they are often too busy to accept an invitation to go hang out. I travel to SF to visit with my group of friends there and I walk my dogs in the neighborhood (I'm unmarried). Lots of friendly people to chat with on a superficial level, but I don't think this is just Pleasanton. I think it's California in general. Everyone I know from other states says this. I think we don't notice if we were born here. Yes there are pockets of neighborhoods where people are more friendly, but I agree, if you want friends in your neighborhood you are going to have to be very active and join groups. And don't relent until you have some friends!

Why don't you sit on your front porch with empty chairs next to you, with a pitcher of lemonade and chips and guacamole. I know I would linger as I walked by and hope you ask me to sit and join you! I will even volunteer to be your first guest! ( Although once you have a friend there people won't linger, they think you already have a companion. Don't invite me. But save my email if you need a companion for a local event in the future ;)

I do marvel at the group hanging out in the Tully square. Hours and hours these people hang out and talk. Sometimes I envy them, sometimes I wonder how they have so much time to waste. Or is it a waste? I have dogs to feed, church groups to attend and host, and Fox news to watch. I can't afford that kind of investment, and the result is I have no neighborhood friends. oh well :)

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Posted by Marie
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 27, 2011 at 11:33 am

I love it here in P-Town! I moved here a little over 2 years ago from the South Bay so all of my friends are down there. I did move into a townhouse community so I have gotten to know some of my neighbors and do things with them sometimes. We did hit all of the Concerts in the parks on Fridays during the summer. I have not made any new friends either except my neighbors. Its just hard, people have their core group of friends already and most people work, I commute to the southbay. Hang in there. Margaritas at Blue Agave?

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Posted by Marie
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 27, 2011 at 11:37 am

Sorry I mean maybe the new people can get together for drinks. I know we have a new comers club too but haven't ventured that way yet

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Posted by Julie Zeisse
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Sep 27, 2011 at 1:13 pm

My husband and I could stand to meet some new people too. Margaritas at Blue Agave sounds like a great meeting place

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Posted by vineyards
a resident of another community
on Sep 27, 2011 at 1:21 pm

Welcome to Pleasanton.

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Posted by beenthere
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 27, 2011 at 1:26 pm

I can definitely understand your frustration. What are your interests? Any hobbies? Like to play adult sports, take community classes, book clubs, go to church, dine out, volunteer, hike or bike, go to festivals, have dog(s)you take on can find many groups tailored to these types of interests, and more, on "" as others have suggested. This is a great site to find all types of groups to join.

We've lived in town for quite awhile, work full-time, our kids are out of school, and we like to get out on the weekend and socialize with other couples, and found ourselves in a similar position, so I decided to start a meetup group of my own, and have met some very nice people in the process! I think I even saw a newcomer's group on the website...

You just got to do a little searching around until you find the right fit. Best of luck!

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Posted by 4 Years Now
a resident of Danbury Park
on Sep 27, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Moves are always tough, but our move to Pleasanton has been a similar experience to yours. I wonder where you moved from. We moved from the Southeast and it is just a very different culture, people are much more open and friendly, more "neighborly". We have made some good friends in the area, but none in Pleasanton. Frankly, we just took an attitude of "we don't give a %$^" about the snobs here. I have a Freshman at AVHS, he on the other hand has made a ton of friends, in fact, I can't keep up with his social schedule. And in the end, isn't that all that really matters?

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Posted by enjoyinglife
a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on Sep 27, 2011 at 3:15 pm

Is there any way to contact "New in Town" without posting here?

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Posted by P Chapin
a resident of Walnut Hills
on Sep 27, 2011 at 4:37 pm

There is a Pleasanton Newcomers Group which you might enjoy. Check this out: Web Link

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Posted by Claudette
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 27, 2011 at 10:35 pm

When I moved to Pleasanton 8 years ago now, I had a holiday party and invited my immediate neighbors so we could get to know each other a bit. There is always curiosity when someone moves next door, so this I felt was important to show, I was friendly and not one to worry about. It was great, everyone stopped in and over the years we have come to know each other better. I was determined and very outgoing about meeting people. Shopped downtown and introduced myself to shop keepers. I opened a business, which not everyone can or wants to do :) but it opened many doors for me. One of which was a wealth of friendly artists that meet weekly. Find a class, and you will meet people with similar interests, join a group and I guess what it boils down to, "be active" in what ever you want out of your life here in Pleasanton. Best of luck. My art group meets every Friday and all are welcome; Artists, Art Lovers and the Public. E-mail me and I will send you a weekly reminder, where we will be meeting next PoetryOnCanvas@Mac.Com This Friday we are meeting at Coffee Ali on the Corner of Bernal and Vineyard at 10 a.m. Call in sick, grab a cup of coffee and pull up a chair to join us ~

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Posted by New In Town
a resident of Foothill High School
on Sep 28, 2011 at 9:23 am

Wow everyone! Thanks for all the ideas and kind words. (Sorry for the delay... I was out of commission yesterday). It is nice to have some sympanthy and know that there are others who have had the same experience. Don't get me wrong, people are nice enough (most people) but just too busy.
I'm energized by all of the ideas. I think I'm going to try to set up a meet up group to see if we can get together. I'll have to work on that tonight... (Wednesday) Look for it I will call it something like New In Town - Pleasanton or some version. I've never set up a meet up group. In the meantime, you can email me at if you have ideas.


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Posted by Becky Dennis
a resident of Foxborough Estates
on Sep 28, 2011 at 1:34 pm

We've lived here for over 20 years. We observed that our children introduced us to the nicest people. If your teens like to entertain, encourage them. Reach out and get to know their friends' parents. It's probably the responsible thing for parents of teenagers to do anyway. But why shouldn't due diligence be fun? Anyway, welcome to Pleasanton:-)

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Posted by Scott Walsh
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Sep 28, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Been here since 1984. Clicks but all cities have them. Find ways to volunteer. You meet great people. Help out with Pleasanton Military Families who support the troops----wonderful people.

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Posted by New In Town
a resident of Foothill High School
on Sep 28, 2011 at 10:28 pm

Hi all! Thanks for the encouraging words. A Meetup group has been formed. It can take up to three days to activate so check back often. Anyone interested should join.... you don't have to be new in town!

Web Link

Please spread the word! Thanks!

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Posted by Joe
a resident of Siena
on Sep 29, 2011 at 8:35 am

You didn't say what part of the country you are from. If you are from the South, or parts of the East Coast, or part of the Northern areas of the country, then yes, you are in for a shock. I have lived in those other places, and there is a H U G E difference in people and personalities in California. I was shocked when I first learned that next-door neighbors could live next to each other for 15 years and not even know their name. People here have given you some good ideas, but none of that changes the fact that this is the Bay Area of California which means "you're on your own". Sorry, but people are snobs.

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Posted by Julie
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 1, 2011 at 5:44 pm

Julie is a registered user.

Welcome to Pleasanton!

I've been here for 11 years and have met some wonderful people. I think what makes meeting people a challenge for you is the fact that you have teenagers. I met most of my friends and acquaintances via my daughter's friends in preschool and kindergarten. It is truly a challenge to meet new people and make friends when we are in our 30's and 40's without help from our little

I did meet great people via my high schooler when she was on a sports team - some of us became a tight group. Do either of your teenagers do sports or band?

I wish you the best of luck!


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Posted by Another Parent
a resident of Val Vista
on Oct 5, 2011 at 9:54 am

Like Julie I have lived here for about 11 years. When we moved here my kids were young so most of the people I have met were through my kids' preschool and early kindergarten experiences. I do, however, take offense to the people who are generalizing the people of P-Town as manicured, self-centered snobs. When I moved into my house, two very friendly neighbors welcomed me with cookies and a plant. I also felt it was my duty to be inviting and go out and find friends. I agree with many on here who are saying to host a BBQ get together with the neighbors - be the one who initiates. You make it happen, don't wait for others to make it happen for you.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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